Lahar at New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A lahar at New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu is all but over, without causing anywhere the level of havoc for which authorities were prepared.

The event was first confirmed by a 3 News helicopter, and then the Department of Conservation.

The Department of Conservation had said that a “moderate lahar” was moving down the side of Mount Ruapehu.

The lahar travelled down the Whangaehu Valley, past the Tongariro catchment; and then continued on to the Tangiwai Bridge, the site of the 1953 Tangiwai disaster, which was itself caused by a lahar.

The crater lake is currently being reported by a free phone number as at a warning level of 3a. The crater lake is also being reported at a level between 5.7-6.7 metres up the Crater Lake tephra dam.

The lahar emergency plan was activated by Civil Defence. The district mayor of Ruapehu, Sue Morris, and conservation minister, Chris Carter, said that the authorities had been very quick to respond to the emergency. All three electronic surveillance technologies had their alarms activated. Mr Carter said, “The lahar travelled down the path as predicted, and the early warning response system that this government provided worked exactly as planned.”

Highways near Mount Ruapehu were closed by the Ohakune police, including the Desert Road. The roads have now been re-opened.

A lahar has been expected for a long time now, and scientists say the lahar could have been caused by, among other things, the bad weather New Zealand has been having lately.

Since 1996 the water level in the crater lake at the top of Mount Ruapehu has been rising, which created a risk of a lahar last year.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Lahar_at_New_Zealand%27s_Mount_Ruapehu&oldid=833146”

Canada to legalise marijuana to ‘make it more difficult for kids to access’

Sunday, April 16, 2017

In order to put the cannabis drug (marijuana) out of reach of minors, the Canadian federal government announced a bill to legalise cannabis for the age group of eighteen and above, on Thursday. The bill would allow adults to possess cannabis publicly, previously a criminal offence.

Canada’s health minister Jane Philpott tweeted, “Today we tabled new legislation to legalise, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis. Our goal: keep it out of the hands of youth, and profits out of the hands of criminals.” ((fr))French language: ?Ajd nous avons déposé un nouveau projet de loi pour légaliser le cannabis, le réglementer de manière stricte et en restreindre l’accès. Notre objectif: garder le cannabis hors de la portée des jeunes, & les profits hors des mains des criminels. The Canadian government, via their official website, explained cannabis is available illegally, and their measures to stop it did not work. Criminal organisations are making money selling cannabis. Under-aged people can obtain the drug easily; they said, “it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.”

The bill allows provinces and territories to set the age limit above eighteen. In order to prevent criminal gangs from making a profit, selling the drug needs a license permitting its sale. Adults can purchase the drug online from a licensed producer if a retail shop is not available in the province.

Adults can carry up to 30 g (slightly over an ounce) of cannabis and grow at most four cannabis plants at home, for personal use. The plants should be no taller than a metre, the bill proposed. Selling cannabis to minors would be a specific criminal offence.

The legislation requires parliamentary approval and royal assent. If passed, the bill would be under effect by July 2018, the government said. Health and safety experts and law enforcement were consulted before proposing the legislation. Except for medical purposes, possession of the drug remains illegal until the bill is passed. Regardless of the status of the bill, import and export of the drug would be illegal.

Previously when the government increased the taxes on cigarettes to discourage citizens from smoking, a black market for cigarettes developed.

Along with legalising cannabis, the bill would also permit the police officials to use tools like oral fluid drug screeners to detect if drivers are under the influence of the drug. Zero tolerance against drivers under influence of drugs is proposed. The government would also implement a public awareness campaign on the perils of driving under the influence of drugs.

The government still working on the restrictions. Lawmaker and former police chief Bill Blair said, “We do accept that more important work remains to be done.” If the bill is passed, Canada would be the second country to legalise cannabis completely. Uruguay is the first. Some countries, such as Germany, allow medical use of cannabis, but recreational use is prohibited.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Canada_to_legalise_marijuana_to_%27make_it_more_difficult_for_kids_to_access%27&oldid=4498510”

Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.

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What You Need To Know Before Buying Used Trucks For Sale

byAlma Abell

When shopping for used trucks for sale, there are some important guidelines that are important to be aware of. It is widely known that used cars often require some type of maintenance over time. For this reason, it is important to find a dealership that will provide a car that is in the best possible condition. Not all dealers are focused on the customer and some are more interested in just making a profit. This is why it is essential to know before you go so you can get the best possible used trucks for sale.

Getting the best

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Finding the best used trucks for sale comes down to knowing which dealers to go to and which ones to stay far away from. Some dealerships try to turn over cars as quickly as possible with no concern for the after sale experience of the buyer. They will do just the minimum to ensure the vehicle passes inspection so they can get it sold as quickly as possible. These dealerships deal in volume and work diligently to get as many cars sold each month as possible. When looking for the used trucks for sale that run well and will last a long time, it may be wise to stay away from this type of dealership.

Selecting the type of vehicle

There are many different types of used trucks. From 4×4 pickups to trucks with excessive towing capacity, there is much to choose from. Knowing the type of used trucks for sale you are interested can help you narrow down your selection. This will aid you in the buying process and help the transaction go more smoothly as well as more quickly. This is because when you know what you are looking for, you are much more focused and more likely to end up satisfied once you have found the best deal.

Buying locally

When shopping for used trucks for sale, it is important to buy locally. You want to be able to go to a dealership you know has been around for a long time and one that will continue to be around for a long time. In addition, you want to work with a dealership that is locally owned and operated so if anything goes wrong with your purchase, it is easy to go back and get things fixed. This is one of the advantages of working with a local dealership when shopping for used trucks for sale.

There are high quality used trucks for sale that you can depend on to get you where you need to go at Heritage Motors. Find out how to get the best trucks available when you visit http://heritagemotorsaz.com/.

FDA issues proposed rules requiring calorie content on menus

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued proposed calorie labeling rules requiring most retail food vendors to display the calorie counts in items on their menus and menu boards. The proposed rules, issued Friday and expected to be finalized in 2012, would apply to most restaurants, snack bars, vending machines, coffee shops, drive-through restaurants, and convenience and grocery stores.

The US Congress required the rules in the health-care reform law passed in 2010. The rules proposed by the FDA must undergo a public comment period before they are finalized and take effect, said Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Director for Foods at the FDA.

The proposed regulations pertain to businesses devoting more than 50 percent of their floor space to the sale of food or that consider themselves restaurants, specifically food-selling chains with at least 20 stores nationally. Included are candy stores, bakeries, and ice-cream parlors.

The FDA’s proposed guidelines specify that chains post the calorie counts of foods and drinks on menus and menu boards or next to the food item, such as at a salad bar. The menu is to prominently exhibit the calorie content of each item in a way customers can see easily, giving them the same information packaged foods prepared at home currently provide. The information must be displayed in “clear and conspicuous” print and colors.

Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.

Many cities and states have passed laws requiring calorie labeling on menus, beginning with New York City in 2008. California implemented a similar law in January, although many counties are waiting for the release of the federal guidelines before they begin enforcement. Some fast-food chains there, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, are displaying calorie counts on menus in some of their stores.

The rules are intended to curb the national obesity epidemic since, according to FDA estimates, one third of the calories people consume yearly come from food eaten out. In a statement issued yesterday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services said, “Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.”

Excluded from the rules are businesses whose primary product is not food sales but that sell it, such as bowling alleys, airports and airplanes, amusement parks, hotels and movie theaters. Alcohol is also excluded.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=FDA_issues_proposed_rules_requiring_calorie_content_on_menus&oldid=1982833”

Healthy And Unhealthy Weight, How Do You Know The Difference?

Healthy and Unhealthy Weight, How do you know the difference? by Art ZammitMore than 1 of 3 American adults are at an unhealthy weight, and their risk of developing certain diseases is greater because of the excess weight. There are five classes of weight: underweight, acceptable weight, overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity (the most over weight class). This classification system has been developed because there is strong scientific evidence that people is classes other than “acceptable weight’ are more likely to have health problems. The more over weight you are the greater the chances of developing diabetes or high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.The best way to check whether you are at a healthy or unhealthy weight is to determine your body mass index (BMI), using an on line BMI calculator. These guild lines are good but they are not foolproof. For example, muscle weights more than fat, so it is possible to be extremely fit and have a weight at the top weight chart for your height.BMI Interpretation:Underweight – BMI Under 18.5Normal – BMI 18.5 – 24Overweight – BMI 25 – 29Obese – BMI 30 and overPeople who carry their weight around their midsection (giving you an apple like shape) are at greater health risk than people who carry the same amount of weight mainly around their hips, buttocks and thighs.In contrast people who carry excess weight below the waist in the hips, buttocks, and thighs, (giving you a pear like shape), the risk of excess weight is lower. There are some theories as to why it is better to be like a pear rather that an apple, but it remains a mystery. Why is the population getting heavier?Over the past 20 years, people have increasingly used sugar free sweeteners and cut down on the percent of total calories that come from fat. In addition, various fat substitutes have become available. You would think this would mean the average weight of the population is going down. In fact, it continues to go up. Why is this? The simple explanation is we are eating more. Though more of the food eaten maybe sugar free or low fat, the total number of calories being consumed is going up. Though we are using lots of sugar free foods, we are eating more sugar, and though we are eating more low fat foods, we are eating more total fat. Experts speculate that sugar free foods have increased our appetite for sweets, real sugar, and rich sweets. We also tend to fool ourselves into thinking that sugar free or fat free have no calories. While that is nearly true for some sugar free soft drinks, it is not true for pudding, crackers, coffee cakes, and other foods that are sugar free or at free. People are also eating in restaurants more frequently, and restaurant meals typically contain many more calories and fat than home cooked meals. If you need to lose weight look for a program that emphasizes slow weight loss, no more than 2 pounds a week.http://www.dietproductadvisor.com, The best place on the internet to find the safe, effective, and quick weight loss products or if need to jump start your weight loss program.Article Source: eArticlesOnline.com

Tempers flare over New Orleans tragedy

Sunday, September 4, 2005

The handling of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, considered by many to be inadequate, has prompted scathing criticism of American politicians. President Bush was criticized for verbally “pandering” to public opinion, while little is done about the tragedy. In a WWL radio interview, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin called for a “moratorium on press conferences” and said, “[The government is] feeding the public a line of bull, and they are spinning, and people are dying.” The mayor has since apologised for these remarks. However, the mayor did not address his own alleged failure to evacuate his citizens when he reportedly left hundreds of city-controlled buses idle.

Malik Rahim, a recent Green Party candidate for New Orleans City Council, describes the poor organization as criminal, and called for his party to come help when the federal government would permit it. Grammy award-winning rapper Kanye West created controversy when he said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” and that “America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible” in a telethon for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Onsite television news reporters have also levied very harsh criticism against the politicians whom they were interviewing. Anderson Cooper (CNN) took Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., Louisiana) to task for her detachment (WMV, trancsript). Andrea Mitchell (MSNBC), Bill O’Reilly (FOX), Geraldo Rivera (FOX), Scarborough (MSNBC), Shepard Smith (FOX), Robert Siegel (NPR), and Paula Zahn (CNN) have also harshly criticized their interviewees (WMV). One broadcaster bitterly exclaimed “The only difference between the chaos of New Orleans and a Third World disaster operation, was that a foreign dictator would have responded better.”

In a press release issued September 3rd, 2005, Democratic Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana claims that President Bush staged a photo opportunity by having rescue equipment quickly moved into the background during the event. Senator Landrieu claims the equipment was dispersed elsewhere the next day. Landrieu says in her press release, ” … we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast — black and white, rich and poor, young and old — deserve far better from their national government …” The breached levee was closed on Monday by a sequence of dump trucks building a narrow pathway across the gap toward helicopter-dropped sandbags.

Some responses, however, have concerned themselves not with criticizing the response, but praising the hurricane itself. The American Family Association’s Agape Press published praise for the hurricane’s destruction as an instrument of God’s mercy, in that it “wiped out rampant sin”. Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, said “God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there — and now we’re going to start over again.” “New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion — it’s free of all of those things now,” Shanks says.

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Demonstrators protest Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Australia

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Anti-war demonstrators in Sydney, Australia on Thursday dubbed U.S. Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice a “war criminal” and “murderer.” Two protesters were evicted and five people were arrested during protests against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Dr Rice, on a three-day trip to Australia, said she understood why people found it hard to be positive about Iraq when all they saw on their television screens was violence.

Soon after Rice began her speech at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, two protesters shouted from the rear of the auditorium, “Condoleezza Rice, you are a war criminal,” and “Iraqi blood is on your hands and you cannot wash that blood away.” Standing with their palms towards her, the young man and woman repeated their accusation until security intervened to remove them from the hall.

About 15 minutes into Rice’s address, a third protester appeared at a balcony door, interrupting her speech as she referred to freedom. “What kind of freedom are you talking about? You are a murderer,” said the demonstrator before he was quietly escorted from the hall. “I’m very glad to see that democracy is well and alive here at the university,” she said.

In her speech, Rice sought to justify the U.S. occupation of Iraq, describing Iraqis as now more free. One student asked about abuses committed by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. She said the abuses had made her “sick to her stomach.” However, she defended Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where human rights groups say detainees are held in inhumane conditions and in detention flouting international laws.

Before Rice began her speech, about 50 protesters were gathered at the front gates of the Conservatorium. The group were confronted by police on horseback and by police dogs. Police used the horses to charge into the group of activists and push them back, as a police helicopter hovered.

A police spokeswoman said the group was blocking pedestrian access to the building and that police had spent more than 20 minutes warning them to move. The police then moved in and pushed the crowd back 20 metres. Police say five people have been charged with “hindering police in the execution of their duties.”

The “Stop the War Coalition” says Rice is a “war criminal” and is not welcome in Australia. The group’s spokeswoman, Anna Samson, says the protest is one of many planned in the lead-up to the third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq on March 20.

Paddy Gibson, from the University of Sydney’s Student’s Council, says the protest is in opposition to the Iraq war, and to the use of the University of Sydney’s campus to host Rice, “the most powerful woman in the world,” who they say is a war criminal. “They’re saying, ‘… you’ve got Sydney Uni’s support to stand up and peddle your murderous hate speeches,’ which is what we see it,” he said.

“You’ve got 180,000 people killed, as we said, for no other reason than strategic control of the region’s oil resources. And the anti-Muslim racism that’s been whipped up to justify this war is being felt by Sydney University students,” said Mr Gibson.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Demonstrators_protest_Condoleezza_Rice%27s_trip_to_Australia&oldid=1987219”

Health Secrets Of Bitter Gourd ( Bitter Melon Or Karela )}

HEALTH SECRETS OF BITTER GOURD ( Bitter Melon Or Karela )

by

Vipul Sharma 1. Heart Health : Reduces bad cholesterol levels by burning un-necessary fats which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduces the chances of heart attacks. 2. Weight Lose : Rich in iron & beta-carotene with potassium. It relieves constipation and improve body blood circulation, thereby producing a slimming effects on the body.

3. Diabetes Cure: Reverses the insulin resistance and activates protein kinase, activate the absorption of sugar in body cells. Hance improves glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.

4. Lower blood glucose level : Contains phyto – nutrient, polypeptide-P, contain a plant insulin which helps to lower blood sugar levels. Its hypoglycemic agent Cha ran tin, increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the cells of liver, muscle and the adipose tissue.

5. Hypertension Cure : Inhibits hypertension , high plasma cholesterols or high plasma lipids which affect patients with Type II diabetes thus decreasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.

6. Anti-parasitic property: Anti helminthic compounds are used in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and kill parasitic intestinal worms. It also stimulates the peristalsis of the food thus relieves indigestion and constipation problems too.

7. As Liver tonic: Helps to maintain a healthy liver & bladder. It is useful in removing the kidney stones and relieving gouty pain.

8. Blood Cell Booster: The compounds a eleo-stearic acid and the 15, 16-dihydroxy-a-eleostearic acid are a good remedy for the leukemia and blood irregularities like anemia. It also helps in producing healthy red blood cells and balance the amount of WBC’s in your body.

9. Skin Problem Cure : Its juice cleanses the liver and blood off toxins and is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia.

10. Rich Source Of Iorn : Has high amount of Folate which helps in treating a defective neural tubes which usually occurs during early stage of pregnancy.

11. Anti Ageing Property : Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant fight and eliminate the free radicals, reducing wrinkles and slow down the ageing process. It also protects the skin from damage by sun’s UV rays.

12. For Respiratory problems : Fresh pods are excellent remedy to treat respiratory problems like asthma, cold, cough, bronchitis and pharyngitis.

13. Rich Source Of Vitamins And Nutrients : Contains flavonoids such as -carotene, -carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. Low in calories, rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants and a good source of niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.

14. Many Disease Buster : Not only effective in killing malaria bacteria, but it can also weaken some viruses such as Cholera, Chickenpox, Measles, Herpes and Jaundice.

15. Boost Immune System: Bitter juice help to strengthen the immune system and increase the body’s resistance against a variety of infections.

16. Helpful In Psoriasis : Regular consumption of its bitter juice has curative effect in treatment of psoriasis, fungal infections like ring-worm and athlete foot as well as skin infections like eczema.

17. Acne Care : Helps in preventing acne, because of its blood purifying properties. It keeps your skin glowing and free from blemishes and infections.

18. Eye Care: As it rich in beta-carotene and other properties, helps in curing eye problems and in improving eyesight.

19. Detoxification Property: Its anti-intoxication properties are beneficial in the treatment of hangover & eliminating liver problems due to alcohol consumption.

20. Helps In Curing Piles : 3 teaspoons of the its juice, extracted from its leaves, added to a glassful of buttermilk & consumed on an empty stomach every morning has shown promising curative results in the treatment of piles.

21. Hair Health: Super hair tonic which imparts shine, wards off dandruff, treats split ends, combats dryness and itchiness of scalp, reduces hair loss, treats rough and tangled hair, prevents premature graying and removes excess oiliness in hair.

22. Regulate The blood flow & clotting: Aids in healing process thus preventing further infections.

23. Rich Energy Source: Regular consumption of its juice help to improve the Stamina and Energy levels. Even sleep disturbance problems have been shown to be improved or get stabilized.

# Bitter Melon (Karela) Side Effects :

although Bitter Melon has a good reputation in treating many diseases, Despite of that it also has side effects that you would never want to experience.

It can cause hypoglycaemia due to charantin present on it. If you will drink its excessive Juice or eat too much bitter melon fruit you probably experience the problem of hypoglycaemia. Take in a balanced prepotion and watch your bitter melon intake especially if you are not a hyperglycaemia patient.

If you do not have idea how to use bitter melon’s seed than do not try to eat it or do something with it. As this is highly toxic, and might be lead to vomiting, diarrhea etc So, don’t let your kids eat its seed because it is poisonous.

Note : It Is contraindicated for a pregnant women. If need to take it, try to take it in a small quantity, Why ? because bitter melon has a property that can cause abortion. It has monor charin substance in it that might cause ill effect on the gravid uterus.

Regards

Arogyam Pure Herbs

– See more at: http://www.ayurvedahimachal.com/index.php?page=completearticle&&id=132#sthash.RuwmSJ5H.dpuf

Herbal treatment for sexual weakness, obesity, hair fall, skin problems, joint problems and all other problems

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

Wikinews investigates: Advertisements disguised as news articles trick unknowing users out of money, credit card information

 Notice — May 19, 2010 This article has been judged, by consensus of the Wikinews community, not to meet Wikinews standards of style and neutrality. Please see the relevant discussion for details. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Internet has already brought great things to the world, but has also brought spam, phishing, scamming, etc. We all have seen them across the Internet. They promise money, weight loss, or other things a person may strive for, but they usually amount to only a lighter pocket. Online advertising has become something that the increasingly Internet-reliant society has become used to, as well as more aware of. As this is true, online ads have become more intricate and deceptive in recent years.

However, a certain type of advertisement has arisen recently, and has become more deceptive than any other Internet ad, and has tricked many users into credit card charges. These sites claim to be news websites that preach a “miracle product”, and they offer a free trial, and then charge the user’s credit card a large amount of money without informing them after the trial ends. These sites appear to be operating under one venture and have caught ad pages of high-traffic websites by storm. In this report, Wikinews’ Tjc6 investigates news advertisement sites.

These Internet ads work in different ways:

Hypothetically speaking, a reader is browsing the web, and then happens to come across something that they believe is too good to be true. A link on one of these high-traffic pages promises white teeth, weight loss, or huge profits from working at home part-time. Out of curiosity, they click on the link.

This is the way that people are attracted to these fake news sites on the internet. The domain owners draw in customers by purchasing advertising on some of the World Wide Web’s most visited pages. Curious users click and are led to what they believe is a news article. From anti-aging to shedding weight, these “articles” from non-existant newspapers and television stations depict a skeptical news reporter trying a product because they were instructed to by a superior.

As the user reads on, they find that the “reporter” miraculously achieves significant weight loss, teeth whitening, or other general health and beauty improvement. The reporter states that the reader can get the same results as they did by using a “free trial” of the product.

Next, the user looks to the bottom of the page, where there seems to be a set of user comments, all of them praising the product or products that are advertised — this is where we first see something suspicious. Across several of these false articles, the comments appear to show the exact same text, sometimes with even the same usernames as other sites.

There is obviously some kind of correlation. Although this appears to be true, most users who purchase these products do not look at multiple versions of these similar pages of what appears to be a fast-growing network of interconnected fake news sites.

Once customers have convinced themselves into buying the product, they are led to a product (or products) website which promises a free trial for a very low price. What they do not know about this, however, is that they are giving their credit card data to a company that will charge it automatically after the trial ends. In about 14 days, the user receives a charge on their credit card for an excessive amount of money, usually from about $80 to $100 (USD). All attempts to contact these companies and cancel their shipments usually prove to be futile.

What these sites have is a large amount of legal copy located at the bottom of each site, stating their right to charge the user. This site, a fake news article claiming to offer teeth-whitening benefits, has several paragraphs of fine print, including this: “…Upon signing up for the 10 day trial membership you will be charged up to $4.97 depending on various shipping and initial offer promotions at that time but not more than $4.97 upon signing. If not cancelled, you will be charged $89.97 upon completion of the 10 day trial period. Monthly thereafter or 30 days from the original order date, the charge will reoccur monthly at a total of $89.97 until cancelled…,” the site says.

Practices like this have alerted the Better Business Bureau, an American organization that studies and reports on the reliability and practices of US businesses. In a press release, a spokesman from the BBB spoke out against sites like this. “Many businesses across the country are using the same selling model for their products: They lure customers in with claimed celebrity endorsements and free trial offers, and then lock them in by making it extremely difficult to cancel the automatic delivery of more products every month…,” said the report that denounced the websites.

When a user looks at several of these sites, they notice that all of them have the same exact structure. Because of this, Wikinews decided to look into where some of the domains were owned, and if they were all in fact part of one company.

However, the results that Wikinews found were ones that were not expected. Out of the three random websites that were found in Internet ads, all using similar designs and methods to attract the customers, came from three different locations in three countries and two separate continents. The first came from Scottsdale, in the United States, while the next two came from Vancouver and Hamburg. There is no location correlation, but surely, there has to be something that connected these sites together. We had to look even further to try to find a connection.

HAVE YOUR SAY
What do you think of these sites? Have you ever fallen for an advertisement similar to this one?
Add or view comments

There is some correlation within the product’s contact information. A large amount of the teeth-whitening products analyzed actually shared the same phone number, which lead to a distribution center located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and several other similar distribution centers located across the Southern United States. But, that explains only one of the categories of products that these websites cover, teeth whitening.

What about the other products? The other products such as weight loss and work-at-home kits all trace back to similar distribution centers in similar places. So, what do we make of all of this?

There is obviously some company that promotes these products through the fake news advertisements, but that company is nowhere to be found on the websites. All contact information is given on the product pages, and websites are copyrighted under the name of the domain, not a company. Whatever company has been the setup for these pages has been very good at hiding themselves from the Internet, as there is no information across the web about that mysterious large advertiser.

As a result of customers buying the products and having unauthorized charges on their credit cards, a large volume of complaints are currently present on awareness sites, complaint sites, and even the Better Business Bureau. Several customers point out that they were not informed of the steep charges and the company made it extremely difficult to cancel their subscription, usually resulting in the loss of several hundred dollars.

  • The trial offer was to pay for $3.95 for the cost of the shipping for one bottle. I noticed shortly after placing the order I had a charge on my credit card for $149.95. Unknown to myself the company charges for a membership if you don’t cancel within 14 days, I cancelled within 18 days…When I called the customer service number they told me the decision has been made and my refund request was denied. When I questioned the person on the other line about what I was getting for my $149.95 she told me I was not getting anything because I cancelled the membership.
?“Tamara”, in a post to the Ripoff Report
  • This is a “free sample” scam: Pay only postage and handling and get a free sample of a tooth whitening system, they say. I looked for the “catch,” something that would indicate that there’d be hidden or recurring charges, but didn’t see anything, and ordered. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, I see a charge for $88.97 on my bank statement…When I called, the guy answering the phone had obviously answered the same angry question many, many times: “Why has your company charged $88.97 to my card?” “Because you didn’t cancel your subscription in time,” he said tiredly.
?“Elenor”, in a post to the Ripoff Report

One notable lawsuit has occurred as a result of these articles. Some of the articles about work at home kits specifically advertise things like “work for Google”, or “job openings at Google”. However, Google asserts these claims as false and has taken the case to court, as it is a copyright violation. “Thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations,” said Google in a statement.

The BBB has received over 3,000 complaints about products such as the ones that Google took offense to. The lawsuit has yet to begin in court, and no date has been set.

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